Noted scholar, liberal arts advocate and global leader for women’s education Meredith Woo began serving as the 13th president of Sweet Briar College in May 2017.

Since then, she has spearheaded a comprehensive academic overhaul to reimagine what a liberal arts education should look like in the 21st century. Her overarching goals: To make Sweet Briar excellent, relevant and affordable. In fall 2018, Sweet Briar launched its leadership core curriculum, which replaced the College’s traditional general education requirements, as well as a new academic calendar to make room for more experiential learning. President Woo and her leadership team also reduced Sweet Briar’s tuition by 32 percent while preserving the College’s robust portfolio of more than 250 scholarships. The result: Sweet Briar’s private, liberal arts education now rivals Virginia’s flagship public universities.

In fall 2017, President Woo set out on a multi-city Presidential Tour to speak with thousands of alumnae and friends across the country. In fall 2018, she taught one of the first three-week courses in the College’s new academic calendar.

You can read more about President Woo and Sweet Briar College in her letters and speeches.

Thought Leadership

Op-ed: A one-size-fits-all solution to coronavirus could be fatal to US colleges

May 29, 2020

Op-ed by President Meredith Woo Washington Examiner, May 29, 2020 The challenges facing residential colleges and universities as they ponder the resumption of in-person classes are complex. Sen. Lamar Alexander, who heads the Senate’s Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, remarked on Meet the Press on May 10 that current capacity for COVID-19 testing was […]

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President Woo's Blog

Letter: Sweet Briar “Ladies” at Mount Vernon

January 31, 2020
Front view of Washington's Mount Vernon Home

I first met Gay Hart Gaines, Class of 1959, in Palm Beach. A woman of uncommon intelligence and energy – with beauty to match it – she was born in Canada of American parents, and raised in Bombay, Sydney and Paris. She had travelled the four corners of the world before her father, who headed global operations for Colgate-Palmolive, sent her “home,” saying that she now needed to become an American.

President Woo's Blog...

Letters & Speeches

September 2021 Community Update

October 11, 2021

Dear Colleagues, I would like to tell you about a plan we’re working on that will guide Sweet Briar’s actions and investments for the next five years (from FY 2022-23 to FY 2027-28). Important preparatory work began in August when a number of faculty members met with the Cabinet for a series of discussions. I […]

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